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Tánaiste Micheál Martin at today's launch Rolling News
Family and care

Fianna Fáil launches its Yes Yes referendum campaign today as Martin makes jibe at Fine Gael MEP

Fine Gael launched its campaign for a double Yes vote in the referendums yesterday while the Green Party launched its campaign last week.

FIANNA FÁIL TODAY launched its Yes Yes campaign for the 8 March referendums on family and care. 

Speaking at today’s launch, Fianna Fáil leader and Tánaiste Micheál Martin said his party is strongly supporting a yes vote on both proposals as he believes they are an important statement of inclusion in modern Ireland. 

“What is before the people is an important statement that we want a constitution which respects the reality of Irish society,” he said.

“A reality which is more inclusive. A reality which respects the right of women to choose their own role in society. A reality which acknowledges the diversity of Irish families. A reality which values the role of care for our more vulnerable citizens.”

He added: “A yes to both of the proposals on 8 March will help to give us a constitution which is more reflective of who we are and what we value.’

On 8 March voters will be asked if they wish to:

  • Amend Article 41 of the Constitution to provide for a wider concept of family (i.e. not one only based on marriage)
  • Delete Article 41.2 of the Constitution to remove text on the role of women in the home, and insert a new Article 42B to recognise family care
  • The family amendment, the 39th Amendment of the Constitution, proposes to amend Article 41.1.1 to insert the words “whether founded on marriage or on other durable relationships”. It also proposes the deletion of the words “on which the family is founded” from Article 41.3.1.
  • The care amendment, the 40th amendment, proposes to delete Article 41.2 from the Constitution and insert an Article 42B with the following wording: “The State recognises that the provision of care, by members of a family to one another by reason of the bonds that exist among them, gives to Society a support without which the common good cannot be achieved, and shall strive to support such provision.”

Yesterday, Fine Gael launched its campaign for a double Yes vote in the referendums while the Green Party launched its campaign last week.

A number of politicians and civil society groups have raised concerns about the proposed wording of the referendums.

Many are still backing a Yes vote, but others are voting No, while some remain unsure

Maria Walsh

Separately, while at today’s launch, the Tánaiste was asked about recent comments from Fine Gael MEP Maria Walsh who highlighted the fact Fianna Fáil has so far only selected three men to contest the European elections in June.

Walsh was asked by RTÉ about Fianna Fáil’s selection to date of three men – all aged 56 – who are running as the party’s candidates.

FG 360_90567174 MEP for Midlands North West Maria Walsh Sam Boal Sam Boal

Walsh said: “We are not a representation if we continue to send certain age, certain skin colours, certain gendered people back here [to Strasbourg]. And the fact that a Government party as has only selected … three men, well that’s on them.”

Walsh also criticised the make up of the European Parliament and said: “I think male, pale and stale is a very common theme out here.”

The Tánaiste was asked today if Walsh’s comments were a fair representation of Fianna Fáil. He responded: “Not at all.” 

He continued “Look, I haven’t heard from Maria for a while” and said these sort of comments are made in an electoral contest.

“I very much think that’s the context of those comments but maybe Maria should be careful what she wishes for, the Fianna Fáil ticket isn’t complete.”

With reporting from Christina Finn.

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